A report that is being drawn up by a group of technical experts, following an April visit to Jerusalem where they surveyed archeological work near the revered al-Aqsa Mosque, is expected to be finished and introduced to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan in a few days, Foreign Ministry spokesman Levent Bilman said Wednesday.
The Israeli archeological dig near the Muslim holy site sparked widespread protests amid fears that the work could damage the site. The Turkish delegation's visit to Jerusalem, inspection of the site and eventual preparation of a report are all the result of an agreement reached in early February between Erdoðan and his Israeli counterpart Ehud Olmert, during the latter's visit to the Turkish capital.
In response to a question concerning the much-awaited report during a weekly press conference, Bilman first of all noted that the delegation has been drawing up a very lengthy report which includes numerous technical details. The report is expected to be directly presented to Erdoðan, he said.
Late last month the delegation of architects, archeologists and historians surveyed the excavation area for two days, accompanied by Turkey's consul general in Jerusalem, Ercan Özer. The seven-member delegation comprised historian Professor Tufan Bozpýnar, archaeologist Professor Sait Baþaran, geophysical engineer Professor Metin Ýlkýþýk, art historian Assistant Professor Ahmet Vefa Çobanoðlu, architects Hilmi Þenalp and Cem Eriþ, and civil engineer Atilla Erenler. "We were solely investigating in works concerning the wooden bridge leading to Al-Maghrib Gate. Other works going on in Israel were not of interest to us," a member of the delegation, speaking under condition of anonymity, told the Anatolia news agency, when asked whether the two days spent in Jerusalem were sufficient enough for their technical survey.
Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16